Yes, I Make Brownies So I Can Lick the Bowl


Question: Why did you decide to make brownies today?

Answer (100% of the time): because I was really craving some brownie batter

Whether you love warm brownies or licking the bowl, this recipe is just for you.  Honey instead of sugar.  Whole wheat flour instead of white.  Greek yogurt instead of a bunch of oil.  Ahhh.  The brownie.

I’ve been living in oatmeal and smoothie land lately.  It’s not exactly right to say I have a sweet tooth because none of my recipes have added sugar in them, but I definitely prefer a dessert-like treat to almost anything.  This brownie recipe is just keeping with my trend.   It’s a little variation of a Jillian Michaels recipe I found.

Here’s what you need:

  • 2/3 cup of honey
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vanilla greek yogurt (I used a whole single-serving cup)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla flavor

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a small baking dish (8×8) with an olive oil spray.

Step one: In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the 2/3 cup of honey in the microwave for 45 seconds.  Add the 1/3 cup of cocoa.  Use a fork to combine until smooth.  Set the mixture in the refrigerator to cool while you do the next part.

honey and cocoa

Step two: Stir together  1/2 cup of whole wheat flour, 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder,  1/4 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.


Step three: Combine the 1/2 cup of greek yogurt, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 egg, and 3/4 teaspoons of vanilla.  Whisk until smooth.  Add the cooled honey and cocoa.  Stir in the flour mixture.  Combine all until smooth and none of the flour is visible in the mixture.



Step four: Spread the mixture into a the greased baking dish and cook for 25 minutes.

browniesDon’t worry, I left some in the bowl for some licking.

IMG_1060Now, if anyone can tell me how to keep brownies from cracking on top, I really would be Betty Crocker.  Enjoy!




Snow Day Restlessness Kills the Buns and Thighs

Icy roads = no school/work + a closed gym.

I was really in the mood for a nice long treadmill run today. Instead, I spent some time with Jillian.

I already posted the video for Jillian’s Six-Week Six Pack.  Today, I followed that workout with Killer Buns and Thighs.  It’s no joke.

I’m a little shaky just sitting here typing!

I definitely couldn’t do these DVDs every day, but it’s nice to have something when the gym isn’t an option…or when I don’t feel like leaving the house!

Now I’m off to figure out a new smoothie.  And to figure out what I’m going to do with ANOTHER day of no school.

A Few Ideas for the New Year

There is a lot of good information in paper magazines.  The kind you can’t pin or tweet.  Just paper.  So how does one share this valuable information?  Pictures.

In light of this resolution season (I don’t make resolutions–I make to-do lists), I found a few tidbits in the January issue of SELF Magazine that might guide you toward a good plan for the new year.

peppermint oil

The tip is this: put a few drops of peppermint oil in your water bottle before you head to the gym.  I’ve read before that peppermint oil gives a natural energy boost, and I bought some to put on my wrists before workouts.  I did it a few times…then forgot about it.  I hadn’t thought to drop it in my water.  Now I can put that little bottle of oil to use!

Next is a tip from the great Jillian Michaels.

jillian doesn't like working out

I admit I genuinely enjoy working out and eating healthy.  That’s not to say that I don’t have a hard time resisting foods when I know I’ve already eaten enough.  I’m not chomping at the bit to work out after work everyday.  When you’re really trying to rein it in, it’s important to resist a little more.  Or, on a stressful Wednesday evening when I want to eat everything in my refrigerator, I need to remember ice cream or french fries aren’t as exciting as still fitting in my favorite pants.

I’ve said several times that I don’t make resolutions, I just make lists.  I found some help for one of the first items on my list.

homemade sushi

I really want to make my own sushi.  Any kind.  I just want to be able to say I did it.

Also on my list is to add weight training to my workout routine.  I already do some body weight training, but I want to reduce my cardio and add more weights.  Today, my brother took me to his gym and showed me a few things.  The weights section at the gym is not familiar territory for me.  I believe I told him I felt like a fish out of water.  Nevertheless, I manned up.

lifting weightslifting weights

I will be posting some new weight routines as I get my feet wet.  Keep checking the “workouts to try” tab on the main menu.

The next item on my list?  Yoga.  Namaste until then.

Oh butternut squash, oh butternut squash

I had the best intentions of being home tonight before seven to start some delectable butternut squash creation.  I was thinking stuffed butternut squash or butternut soup.  Those kinds of things.  Unfortunately, when I walked in the door at 7:15, I had to resort to a faster plan…because I was starving.

My workout tonight was intervals on the elliptical.  Basically, I go  fast and then I go slower until I can breathe like a normal person and then I go fast again.  This went on for 45 minutes.  After that, I did 15 minutes of strength by setting a timer on my iPod for 15 minutes and doing whatever Jillian Michaels-esque moves could think of for 1-2 minutes each.  I’m always voraciously hungry after this workout.

So I threw down my bags (I feel like I always have at least three bags I’m toting around at one time), and got to work.  Over the weekend, I got a LOT of sweet potatoes and butternut squash.  I set the oven to 400 and started cutting.  Tonight I cooked:

  • 2 butternut squash
  • 2 sweet potatoes (which will be eaten with a little greek yogurt and salt on top for lunch this week)

I cut one butternut squash in half, scooped out the seeds, salted it,  and placed the halves face down on a pan covered in pam-sprayed aluminum foil. I washed the two sweet potatoes, stabbed a fork in them a few times, and put them on the pan with the squash. These ended up cooking for about 45 minutes.

Butternut Squash

The other butternut squash I cut into fries (my favorite food ever).  I sprayed the pan with cooking spray and placed the fries on the pan.  They cooked for about 15 minutes minutes before I flipped them.  They cooked about 20 more minutes…just until they started getting a little crispy edges. I haven’t been able to get these fries to have a completely crispy outside.  They are always a little softer than “normal” fries, but with a little seasoned salt on top, they are a welcomed substitute for greasy, fatty french fries.  I’ve done this same procedure with sweet potatoes, but I really like the butternut squash best.

Butternut Squash Fries


I served my fries with a simple salad.  I even made a dip for the fries.  Mix together the following in a small bowl.

  • a tablespoon of ranch (I used Wish Bone Light Buffalo Ranch.  So good.)
  • A squirt of dijon mustard
  • A squirt of honey
  • a tablespoon of greek yogurt

Dinner done.
Butternut Squash Fries